Founder – Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat founder Ethan grew up on his father’s dairy farm in western Maryland, an experience that made him concerned about the welfare of the animals he cared for. When he eventually became a vegan, his frustration over the limited availability of meat-free options inspired him to learn more about the industry, and eventually start his own company. After acquiring a Master’s Degree in public policy and an MBA from Columbia University, he spent his young career working at Ballard Power Systems (BLDP), a fuel-cell company.
While studying clean energy, Brown became acquainted with the contribution of livestock to resource depletion and climate change, and as a result shifted his focus from energy to food. He then founded Beyond Meat, formerly Savage River Inc., in 2009 to produce plant-based products that replicated meat and to attempt to eliminate “some of the downsides” of the meat industry in the process.